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The novel coronavirus has made its way into the High Plains states and it is a threat that readers should not dismiss as we try to get our hands wrapped around this chapter that involves many of our countries that want our farm-raised products.

Trying to keep track of the number of cases is best left to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), state health regulators and county health departments. The Trump administration has been providing daily updates and President Donald Trump deserves credit for trying to steer the boat of a temperamental U.S. economy back into smoother waters. We may have disagreements on the policies from federal, state and local levels but policymakers all share a common goal to quickly control a virus that has no known vaccine and already shows it can be a threat to our health and economy. The respiratory disease—COVID-19—has left many people anxious and they are all unified in the belief that a return to normalcy will be welcome news and a relief to all.

Preparation comes in the form of taking care of your own personal business.

Briefly, as noted by the CDC, tips include knowing how it spreads and what to do—avoid close contact with others (a distance of at least 6 feet). The term social distancing is aptly named. Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially if you’ve been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Check on neighbors and families but do so in a responsible manner that does not put them or you at risk. Stay at home if you are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or use the inside of your elbow and throw used tissues in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis, which includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Clean dirty surfaces with detergent or soap and water before disinfection.

Taking all precautions that make your family and employees safe is a mantra to follow as human capital remains the horsepower that drives the economy. Here at High Plains Journal we have gone to extraordinary steps to protect our employees so we can continue to put together a top-notch publication. Our publisher, Nelson Spencer Jr., has put together a plan so we can continue to hit that objective. That has meant limiting access to the building to only essential employees. People who need assistance are encouraged to call 800-452-7171 and we will be glad to help. Also, under Spencer’s guidance,  staff members may work remotely from home.

He notes that with the difficulty in travels and many meetings being canceled or postponed, current and future advertisers may have difficulty getting in front of customers. But we do have solutions with print and digital advertising that can keep business moving forward. Spence’s advice is sage and on target. Even with the latest challenge, if we keep an optimistic eye to the future it will surely pay dividends.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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